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Yorkshire Interiors - 'off the wall' decorating ideas

PUBLISHED: 11:10 02 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:35 20 February 2013

Vanessa has combined an eclectic mix of old and new to great effect in the sitting room.

Vanessa has combined an eclectic mix of old and new to great effect in the sitting room.

It often takes courage to carry through new and sometimes 'off the wall' decorating ideas as Heather Dixon discovers

When Vanessa Seddons long-standing marriage fell apart she was determined to start a new life in a house styled and furnished exactly how she wanted.

I had compromised for years, she says. This was my chance to create a home just for me. Everything in it represents an exciting new start in life and the freedom to be myself. It was a new house and I could have left it just as it was, but I really wanted to make it my own, says Vanessa, who is an occupational therapist. Everything was very tasteful but quite plain, so it was a blank canvas. I like colour, so the first thing I did was go out and choose some bold wallpaper.

Vanessa soon discovered she could buy bargain look-a-likes of expensive wallpapers and decorated virtually every room with a feature wall.
My ex-husband would have taken one look at them and said not on your life, but I was choosing them for me and it was really liberating, says Vanessa.

Inspired by the look that was developing, Vanessa, sold hundreds of pounds worth of unwanted jewellery and went on a shopping spree, returning home with arms full of cushions, boxes, towels and more wallpaper.

I buy what I like and it all falls into place, she says. Nothing is perfect, and I certainly wouldnt claim to be a good decorator, but I can live with a few mistakes here and there - its the whole picture I like.

Vanessa loves experimenting and will sometimes change a room after just a few months. Shes not afraid to reveal her sense of fun and quirky humour, and always works with the end result in mind.

When I bought the bird wallpaper for the bathroom my friends thought Id gone mad, but I knew it would look really good once everything else was in place, she says. You have to have the courage of your convictions and not take it too GAGARDENSseriously. I like the house to change and evolve. It becomes dull if it stays the same way for too long.

Vanessas biggest challenge was deciding which furniture to get rid of when she moved house. Some of her favourite pieces were too big for the scale of the rooms and most of her ornaments didnt look right in a colourful, modern scheme. She also had to budget more carefully and curb her impulse to buy just anything she really liked.

I spent a lot of time browsing round sales and finding bargains, she says. I havent spent a fortune on the house. I buy old things and find new ways of using them, and I mix old and new so that Im not tied to a particular theme.

Vanessas house now looks very different to the one she moved into last year, and the style is likely to continue to change as she discovers new and exciting wallpapers, colours and accessories that give it her individual style.

Starting a new life wasnt easy but this house has been a wonderful antidote, says Vanessa. I love being able to buy whatever I like whenever I like, knowing that everything in the house reflects who I am.

But just at the point when shes made everything perfect, Vanessa is moving on.

I am planning to retire next year and spend more time in LA and Kuwait, where my daughters live, so Ive decided to sell the house, she says. It will be difficult to leave, but at least I can look forward to putting my own stamp on the next house wherever that may be.

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TK Maxx 01923 473 000 tkmaxx.com

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Country Chic 07788 443619 country-chic.net

Plaskitt and Plaskitt 01904 481800 plaskittandplaskitt.co.uk

Barker and Stonehouse 0844 42042208 barkerandstonehouse.co.uk

IKEA 08453 583 363, ikea.com

The French House 01904 624465 thefrenchhouse.co.uk

Barnitts 01904 625601 barnitts.co.uk

The Range 02380 775577 therange.co.uk

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